§ Tim Loughton
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what autonomy is given to RDA boards to spend their own budgets on a local basis. 
§ Alan Johnson
Presently RDAs spend in accordance with set national programmes. From 1 April 2002 these will be replaced by a single broad programme giving greater freedom, subject to RDAs meeting agreed outcome and output targets. It is for each RDA, in consultation with regional partners, to assess the local priorities within the region in the Regional Economic Strategy and the Corporate Plan.